VersaBank, a tiny Canadian lender led by a tech-savvy CEO with a penchant for planes and classic motorcycles, is building a virtual safety deposit box for cryptocurrencies and other digital assets.

The firm is taking the lead in a global banking industry that’s been reluctant to venture into most things crypto. The London, Ontario-based bank plans to have its digital vault ready by June and offer the service to global customers.

“We’re using what banks are all about – safety and security – only what we’re doing now is saying that physical box in the basement is getting obsolete,” David Taylor, chief executive officer of Canada’s smallest bank by assets, said in an interview at Bloomberg’s Toronto office. “Most people’s really valuable assets are contained in some sort of digital format, whether it be a deed or a contract or a cryptocurrency.”

The move underscores a paradox of Canada’s financial system, which is dominated by six large lenders. While its banks are regularly regarded as among the world’s soundest, Canada is also home to a boisterous junior stock market where new trends from blockchain to marijuana can quickly captivate investors.

VersaBank hired cybersecurity expert Gurpreet Sahota from BlackBerry – the former smartphone maker long viewed as a world leader in security and encryption – to lead software engineers in designing its “VersaVault.” It’ll securely store digital assets on computer servers around the world. Like a safety deposit box, the bank won’t know what’s inside. What’s different, though, is VersaBank can’t access the contents.

“Our differentiator in this market is to be secure and super-private,” said Taylor, 65. “The bank wouldn’t have any kind of back door to open up the vault. We’re just providing the facility that folks could put their digital keys in.”

Numerous high-profile heists, including last month’s theft of more than $500 million from the Japanese cryptocurrency exchange Coincheck, illustrate the need for security. Hackers typically steal money from crypto exchanges by gaining access to the internet-connected wallet that stores customer funds.

Large funds have shown interest in storing their assets in VersaVault since the company announced the plan last month, Taylor said. Pricing hasn’t been set, although it’ll be expensive, he said.

VersaBank is building its vault as Bitcoin plunged below $6,000 on Tuesday for the first time since November, pulling down other digital tokens. Several U.S. banks said they’re halting cryptocurrency purchases on credit cards, with some citing risk aversion and a desire to protect customers.

VersaBank is an early mover among traditional banks. South Korea’s Shinhan Bank said in November that it planned to start a bitcoin vault by midyear. Outside banking, Palo Alto, California-based Xapo has offered clients secure storage for Bitcoin for about four years, while Goldmoney, a Toronto-based firm that lets clients buy, sell and store precious metals in vaults in seven countries, started offering Bitcoin storage in September.

Taylor is no stranger to innovation. He introduced a branchless bank to Canada in 1993, four years before ING Groep arrived in the country to offer telephone banking as ING Direct. VersaBank, which has its roots as a trust in Saskatchewan in 1979, still operates on a branchless electronic model, gathering deposits through a nationwide network of brokers and buying loan and lease receivables from non-bank financial firms while working with partners to offer behind-the-scenes financing for retail and small businesses.

“We’re a digital bank that has very little human interface and serves as a warehouse for assets and liabilities, and makes a good spread in the middle,” said Taylor, a former part-time prison guard. “That’s banking in its essence.”

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